The first day of Nottinghamshire’s third LV= County Championship match of the season was a fairly attritional affair with the visitors reaching 253-7 by the close, with 20 year old Matt Pardoe undefeated on a career-best 56 not out.
Had Nottinghamshire taken all of their chances then they may have been able to dismiss their opponents inside three sessions, a point emphasised by assistant director of cricket, Wayne Noon.
“We put down four chances in the day which is very unlike us, especially as most of them were straightforward,” said Noon.
“Hopefully we can now come back in the morning, fully refreshed, and mop the last three wickets up early and then look to put a decent score on the board ourselves.”
“We put down four chances in the day which is very unlike us, especially as most of them were straightforward." Wayne Noon
Noon feels that the conditions will favour a decent response from the Nottinghamshire batsmen.
“We feel that 300 is probably a par score on there,” he said.
“Certainly it appears to be a better wicket than the one that was used for the Hampshire game, so hopefully we can get them out cheaply and then look to bat well on Wednesday and Thursday.”
Chris Read won his third successive toss at the start of the day and invited the visitors to bat first. With Andre Adams being passed fit to play, having recovered from the slight groin strain which restricted his mobility at Headingley last week, Notts kept faith with the same bowling attack for the third match running.
On a bitterly cold morning the Worcestershire openers quickly got into their stride as Notts searched for an early breakthrough. With attacking fields being set by Read, anything that beat the inner ring went to the boundary and the fifty stand came up inside 45 minutes.
It had been stretched to 55 when Adams made the initial breakthrough. Bowling around the wicket at left hander James Cameron, the former Kiwi international found an edge which carried low down to Alex Hales at first slip.
The wicket fell in the fifteenth over and Charlie Shreck struck in the next. Vikram Solanki had got away with a clip to midwicket for 3 but then went hard at one outside off-stump and Adams Voges clung on at third slip.
Moeen Ali was the last wicket to go in the morning session, shouldering arms and losing his off pole to Adams for nought.
From 92-3 at the break, Worcestershire were suddenly in deep trouble when they lost Daryl Mitchell and Alexei Kervezee shortly afterwards. Mitchell, captain of the New Road side, went to a regulation nick off Adams and the same bowler claimed a fourth wicket when the Dutch ICC Cricket World Cup player worked one fine down the leg side, only to fall to a superb diving catch from Read.
At 102-5, Worcestershire needed to rebuild the innings and found some inspiration when Matt Pardoe and Gareth Andrew joined forces. They withstood the Notts bowlers by doggedly hanging around for the remaining 26 overs of the session. At one point, Pardoe went forty minutes without scoring.
Notts did have chances though – Alex Hales spilling both batsmen at slip, with Fletcher and Shreck the unlucky bowlers.
Tea was taken at 168-5 and the pair extended their stand to 93 before the introduction of Patel brought the home side a second bowling point. Andrew, having just begun to open his shoulders had moved to within two of his fifty, when he cut firmly to backward point and the safe hands of Adams.
Pardoe should have followed in the next over but Mark Wagh dropped a regulation opportunity at midwicket from the bowling of a disgruntled Franks.
Ben Cox only made 5, caught behind off Franks before Pardoe reached his second career fifty, from 155 deliveries faced.
Damien Wright added some lustre to the Worcestershire score with some powerful hitting late in the day which helped bring up a second batting point. At the close he was unbeaten on 32, having helped add an unbroken 43 for the eighth wicket.